Breakup poem with a card trick

by Abner Dormiendo

In a desperate attempt to make you stay, I hand you over
my heart in a deck of cards, my club-shaped heart, this
spade-shaped, diamond-shaped, heart-shaped heart of mine,
my heart beaten black and red with all the kings and queens
who only talk with shuffles and draws and those pick a card
moments where I actually pick a card when you ask me to,
give you my body like a bird shuttling to the trust of the wind
when you ask me to, look at it and put it back when you
ask me to, baby, ask me if I want this taking and giving
and taking it back and I’ll take it back if you ask me to,
the evening with the radio turned up, the radio talking
to itself, entertaining itself, the air a different kind of static,
an ashen kind of taste, like we just swallowed fire and now
we’re bodies of coal, that gasoline sky and your knees drawn
together like a prayer, like a pilgrim with a secret life, and baby
I want in, I want to walk the distance of your fathomed hands,
your rows and rows of shops, the chapel on your thigh,
my heart singing twelve variations of hallelujah, a candle lit
at a saintless altar, breath like sandalwood, breath like glass,
breath like the atmosphere of a courtroom drama. You want drama?
I could give you drama. I’m divorce, baby. I’m the lone gun
in the middle of the hero and the enemy. I’m the bullet
next in line to the bullet who will finally kill the one
who deserves to die, a spare, an afterthought, a contingency plan
when shit happens. And because shit happens, somewhere
I am fired because someone failed. Somewhere someone fails
and I deserve the happy ending, the getaway car, bag of cash,
a bungalow in the quiet area of town. Maybe you will be in it
if you want, the hero if you want, be the prize I don’t deserve
to deserve if you want. But what exactly do you want?
All these years with you in cinemas and we are just waiting
for movies to end without really watching, without really rooting
for a good ending, just ending, and now we’re so close to it
I can taste the credits in our skin, our names on black side-by-side
with the names we called ourselves, baby, honey, darling,
my forever and ever, things we pretend to be when we are
in love and our heads are in flames with the idea of a perpetual
yes to a body who will soon slink away into the darkness
of the future, which is now, which is you with the cards,
you in your cluelessness as your mouth waits for the finally
admission of it, you trying all night to guess what it is:
is it the king of hearts, the six of spades, is it the wrong kind
of dinner, is it that time when I said no when I should have
said yes, and yes, it is all of those and at the same time it isn’t,
which means go on, let me pick another card and guess
if this means I don’t have to say another version of sorry.

*

Day 23 of NaPoWriMo: Find a deck of cards, draw from it, and write a poem that is based on the card chosen. For some reason, I can’t find our cards at home so I just pretend I got a card by just randomly putting a card or two inside the poem. In another life, this will probably have Crush-like line cuts.

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